Policy on Safeguarding Child Protection and Promoting the welfare of Children

Section 1.

Introduction and Context

1.1 Our Principles, Beliefs and Philosophy

Aryob Private High School’s unique philosophy is to ‘Be Ambitious’, which is underpinned by our belief and commitment that all our students will be supported to realize ambition by learning and thriving in the safest possible environment. 

Our students are empowered to make decisions for themselves and are supported in this by learning through specific elements of the curriculum,

aimed at enabling students to be able to keep themselves safe (e.g. through personal, social and health education, Wellness program or similar).

Aryob Private High School and all our schools recognize that having a safeguarding and child protection policy does not mean that any risk to our students is eliminated. Rather, we expect that all Aryob Private High School staff, including all staff and volunteers in our schools and any contractors or partner agency staff used by schools, recognize where a student is at risk of, or is actually being harmed and do all they can to reduce further risk or further harm.

We recognize that our schools are particularly important in protecting our students; they are in

the best position to identify concerns early and provide or identify help for students as well as

helping to prevent these concerns from escalating. Consequently, Aryob Private High School and all its branches accept and adhere to these basic principles:

  • A child’s welfare is paramount and each student has the right to be protected from harm and exploitation and to have their welfare safeguarded irrespective of race, religion, ability, gender or culture.
  • All students need to be safe and feel safe in school.
  • Every student is entitled to a rich and broad curriculum that helps to equip them to keep themselves safe.
  • Every adult in school must have a demonstrable commitment to protecting the students with/for whom we work.
  • We work in partnership with parents/carers and/or other professionals to ensure the
  • protection of students.
  • Our guiding principle throughout is ‘the best interests of the students’.
  • All students have the same equal rights to protection, but we recognize that we need to do more for some students because of their special educational needs, disability, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

 

1.2 Aims and objectives

Aryob Private High School and all its branches aim to:

  • Provide a world class, safe and happy environment to enable students to thrive and learn.
  • Outline the systems and processes we all take to ensure that students remain safe at school.
  • Raise awareness to all staff of safeguarding/child protection issues, and define their roles and responsibilities in reporting possible cases of abuse.
  • Identify students who are suffering, or likely to suffer harm.
  • Ensure effective communication between all staff on child protection/safeguarding
  • Issues
  • Set effective procedures for staff/volunteers or third- party individuals who encounter any issues in relation to child protection/safeguarding to follow.
  • Be clear with all parties, including students and their parents/carers, regarding our
  • approach to safeguarding and child protection, through the provision of clear policies.

1.3 Accountability and Ownership

This policy will be endorsed and adopted at the highest levels, both in our schools and in the

organization. The policy will be adopted by EXCO (Executive Committee) and signed off by the CEO. 

 

1.4 Definitions

Safeguarding

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the processes of protecting students from harm, preventing the impairment of their health and development, ensuring that we seek to improve the general health and well-being of all students in our care and enabling every student to have the optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.

 

Child Protection

Child Protection is the core element of safeguarding and is defined as the responsibility to protect children who are suffering or likely to suffer from harm as a result of abuse or neglect.

 

Note:

If our school’s preventative work around safeguarding issues is not appropriate or extensive

enough, students identified as being a concern may move to being identified as at risk of

significant harm. Although other factors outside of the schools’ control may also influence this, the purpose of the policy is to ensure that Aryob Private High School takes whatever measures are possible to avoid this from happening.

 

Section 3.

3.1 Organizational and Individual Responsibilities

Aryob Private High School’s Senior Management Responsibilities

EXCO, the Chief Executive Officer and the Education Director recognize their ultimate

responsibility to ensure that the organization and all Aryob schools understand

and follow the guidance provided by this and all other safeguarding related policies.

Principals/Head Teachers and Senior Management Team in Schools Responsibilities

The Principal/Head teachers and senior management team in each school will:

  • Ensure that this policy and procedures are implemented across their school and followed by all staff and volunteers.
  • Allocate sufficient time and resources to enable the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and any deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead to carry out their role effectively.
  • Ensure that the culture of the school facilitates concerns being raised and handled sensitively.
  • Ensure that safeguarding is addressed through the curriculum.
  • Ensure the school site is secure. 
  • Customize this policy for their particular school.
  • Ensure that local mapping of legislation, guidance and supportive agencies is undertaken and added to the school’s customized version of this policy.
  • Only deploy staff who will have unsupervised contact with children, where safe recruitment procedures have been followed.
  • Maintain a record of all training undertaken by staff in relation to safeguarding and child protection. This training record should be made available for inspection during any audit and should reflect the timescales for renewal identified in this policy.

 

Responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy) in a school

Every school will identify at least one named person designated as the Safeguarding Lead (DSL),

to support the Principal/Head Teachers on each site. This means that schools with split sites will

have more than one Designated Lead for safeguarding. This person/people will: receive

appropriate safeguarding training to equip them to undertake their role; be given sufficient time

in the working day to undertake the role; and be able to prioritize safeguarding when necessary.

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead may be the Head teacher/Principal if appropriate, but he/she

will be subject to the same training and processes as every other Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Schools are therefore advised to give careful consideration before choosing the Head

teacher/Principal to act as the Designated Lead for Safeguarding.

 

The designated staff role is guided by two principles:

  • The welfare of the child is always paramount.
  • Confidentiality should be respected as far as is reasonably possible.
  • Being guided by these principles the Designated Safeguarding Lead will:
  • Play a key role in ensuring that the school takes action to support any student who may be at risk.
  • With the Principal and Head Teachers, make sure that all staff, both teaching and nonteaching, are aware of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and child protection.
  • Have appropriate training in addition to the basic training that all other staff receive.
  • Collate and keep accurate and confidential records of any concerns about children.
  • Have a clear understanding of the local expectations around safeguarding, who to contact, what agencies exist and how to contact them.
  • Ensure that the entire school community knows who the DSL is in their setting.
  • Be familiar with local regulations, procedures and agencies who can offer support for safeguarding matters.

 

All staff have the responsibility to report to the Designated Safeguarding Lead any concern

they have about the safety of any child in their care. The Designated Safeguarding Lead’s

responsibility is to make decisions about what to do next and then to take appropriate

action.

 

Responsibilities on all staff (including partner organizations and contractors having

regular unsupervised contact with children, where regular is defined as once a week or

more)

 

All staff will:

  • Ensure they are familiar with and follow this safeguarding policy and all other safeguarding related policies e.g. Codes of Conduct, guidance for safe working practice.
  • Be subject to safe recruitment processes and checks prior to starting at the school/organization (unless an action plan/risk assessment is in place to ensure the staff member is supervised until all checks are completed).
  • Be alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse.
  • Listen to and take seriously the views and concerns of children.
  • Record any concerns and report these to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
  • In ……………….……. (name of school) the Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) is………….……(name of DSL and any deputy) and they can be contacted on…………..…… (insert contact number/email/office location).
  • Follow the procedures outlined in this document when/if concerned about any child.
  • Support students, staff or other adults who have concerns, or who are the subject of concerns, to act appropriately and effectively in instigating or cooperating with any subsequent process of investigation.
  • Undertake appropriate child protection/safeguarding and safe recruitment training (and refresher training as required by ASS).
  • All staff and volunteers need to recognize that if their behavior inside or outside the workplace breaches the ASS code of conduct and/or the guidance for safe working practice, this may be considered a disciplinary or even criminal matter.

 

All staff who have occasional or supervised contact with children (including staff from

partner and contracted organizations) will:

  • Undergo a safeguarding briefing/induction in relation to their role, understand what is required of them if they have concerns and to whom they should report.
  • Provide written confirmation to demonstrate that where appropriate, all partner agency staff/contractors have been safely recruited with appropriate checks undertaken and that a safeguarding briefing has been provided to these staff, (appropriate to the role and contact they will have with children), before they commence their role on any Aryob school or organization site. Where these staff or volunteers are constantly supervised, the recruitment checks may not need to be as rigorous, but it is for the Principal/Head teacher/ Designated Safeguarding Lead to assess this risk, not individual members of staff or partner organizations themselves.
  • Where partners/contractors do not have their own safeguarding or child protection policy, Aryob Private High Scshool will provide a copy of Aryob’s own policy and ask partners/contractors to read and follow this. These requirements will be part of any contractual arrangement.
  • Follow the guidance laid down in this policy at all times.
  • Be provided with guidance on appropriate safe working practice in any Aryob school any where in Afghanistan. 

 

Section 4.

Training and Support

Aryob Private High School and all its branches will ensure that:

  • All staff and volunteers in schools are provided with appropriate general safeguarding training on joining the organization and then at least every two years. This training will be available through Rokyan Management Consultancy International FZE and other online platforms, as well as face-to- face events.
  • Relevant policies are made available in a range of relevant languages.
  • Staff and volunteers are supported and have the necessary skills to recognize and take appropriate action regarding students who are at risk, or potentially at risk.
  • Those who have the Designated Safeguarding Lead responsibility in schools have appropriate, up to date knowledge and that they access appropriate additional and specialist training (approved by the Education Director/Head of Safeguarding. This will be refreshed every two years.
  • All staff and volunteers are subject to a full induction, which includes an overview of what to do and who to contact if concerned about a student.
  • Appropriate staff are trained in safe recruitment. This safe recruitment training must be renewed every five years.
  • Training for new starters must be complete before any new starter can have unsupervised contact with students.
  • Any student who has or is suffering from any form of harm will receive support. Once agreed with any investigating agency (if involved), students can be offered direct support through school counsellors or external agency input. All Aryob schools will hold information in relation to local, regional or national bodies that may be able to offer direct support in these circumstances.

 

Aryob Private Schools recognize our duty of care to our employees and

where staff have been involved in reporting and responding to abuse, we recognize that this

can be very difficult to deal with in isolation. Aryob’s schools will therefore be in a position to offer or broker appropriate external support or counselling for any staff member affected by a safeguarding issue. Aryob’s schools will keep a list of organizations (such as law firms, hospitals and counsellors, which can be made available to staff on request).

 

Section 5.

5.1 Forms of Abuse

There are a significant number of ways that students may be exposed to risk and danger. All

require a response. Abuse is defined as any form of maltreatment of a child. This can manifest itself as direct harm to a child, or by a failure to take action to protect a child who is at risk of, or already suffering harm.

 

The more commonly referred to types of abuse are:

  • Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding or otherwise causing harm to a child.
  • Emotional abuse: the persistent maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. This may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person.
  • Sexual Abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This form of abuse can involve direct contact activities but also non-contact activities over social media or the internet.
  • Neglect: This is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical or psychological needs likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.

 

While the above are the broad four main areas of potential abuse, abuse itself can take

many forms involving one or more of these areas. Organizational and school staff need to be aware of what to look for and what actions to take when concerned about any of these issues (or any other concerns).

 

Self-Harm

Self-harm can take a number of physical and/or emotional forms. There are many reasons why children and young people try to hurt themselves. Once they start, it can become a compulsion.

This is why it is so important for schools to spot it as soon as possible and do everything possible to help. Self-harm is not usually a suicide attempt or a cry for attention. Instead, it is often a way for young people to release overwhelming emotions and a way of coping. So, whatever the reason, it should be taken seriously.

The exact reasons why children and young people decide to hurt themselves are not always easy to work out. In fact, they might not even know exactly why they do it, but there are links between depression and self-harm. 

Quite often a child or young person who is self-harming is being bullied, under too much pressure, being emotionally abused, grieving or having relationship problems with family or friends. The feelings that these issues bring up can include: low self-esteem, low confidence, loneliness, sadness, anger, numbness and lack of control in their lives. 

Young people will sometimes go to great lengths to cover self-harm scars or injuries and/or they will explain any indications of self-harm as accidents.

There are some common themes that may help staff identify concerns including:

  • Physical indicators such as cuts, bruises, burns, bald patches (where hair has been pulled out).
  • Emotional indicators such as depression, sudden weight loss, drinking or drug-taking, or unusual eating habits and isolation or withdrawal.

 

If staff suspect that a student is self-harming this must be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will consider the next steps. It is likely that this will require discussion with the student involved and their parents/carers to agree a course of action or referral to an organization that may be able to support the student.

 

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 can involve exploitative

relationships where young people receive something in return for performing sexual acts.

Exploitation of any student can occur on a face-to-face level or through the use of technology, such as mobile phones or computers. In these situations a student could be encouraged to send or post indecent images of themselves.

In all cases the person exploiting students does so by misusing the power they have over them. This power may come through virtue of age, physical strength and/or economic resources. Violence, intimidation and coercion are common in exploitative relationships.

 

Sexting

Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages.

Sexting may also be referred to by students as trading nudes, dirties or pic for pic.

There are many reasons why a student may want to send a naked or semi-naked picture, video or message to someone else:

Joining in because they think that ‘everyone is doing it’.

  • Boosting their self-esteem.
  • Flirting with others and testing their sexual identity.
  • Exploring their sexual feelings.
  • To get attention and connect with new people on social media.
  • They may find it difficult to say no if somebody asks them for an explicit image, especially if the person asking is persistent.

 

Students often do not realize that in creating and sending these images they are potentially

committing a criminal act. Ideally, we would not want to deal with these issues as criminal acts.

Learning and support can be a more beneficial way of tackling sexting.

 

5.2 Specific Safeguarding Issues

E-Safety

The growth in electronic media in everyday life and an ever-developing variety of devices create

additional risks for children. Risks and dangers of being online include:

  • Inappropriate content.
  • Ignoring age restrictions and communicating with unknown adults or other children (which make children vulnerable to bullying and grooming).
  • Grooming and sexual abuse.
  • Sharing personal information.
  • Gambling or running up debts.
  • Cyber Bullying.

 

Cyber bullying is an increasingly common form of bullying behavior and is most often related to social networks and mobile phones.

Aryob Private High School believes the best way to protect our students is to teach awareness and understanding of risk, particularly through personal, social and health education, sex and

relationship education or wellness programs. Each school’s curriculum includes appropriate

and frequent opportunities to teach children how to recognize when they and others are at risk

and equips them with the skills, strategies and language they need to take appropriate action.

 

Mobile phone and Camera Images

It is our policy that practitioners, teachers and visitors to our Early Years settings should not use personal mobile phones to take images of children. In our primary and secondary schools, if personal equipment is used to capture child images, these images should be uploaded to the

schools’ system as soon as possible and immediately deleted from personal equipment.

Permission to capture images, videos or audio recordings should be sought from the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Head Teacher for the school. 

Photographs for School Publications:

  • Photographs of students being used by staff for learning or marketing are only taken on school cameras/devices.
  • Images should be saved on a secure server/database and printed copies only used within the school for purposes such as displays, records and learning journals. Images to be used for marketing need to be agreed with parents/carers before use.
  • Staff personal phones should not be used in classrooms and learning areas when students are present except where required as a response to emergency planning
  • Visitors and parents/carers should be asked not to use mobiles devices within the school and/or early years setting, except where permission has been granted to capture images of their own child or children. All parents/carers must give permission for photographs to be used for publicity purposes and to sign a disclaimer if they do not wish their child’s image to be used externally.

 

Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers

An allegation can be made against a staff member or volunteer at any point. It is important that any such allegations are treated seriously and appropriate procedures followed.

An allegation is different to a complaint and can be defined as follows:

  • Where someone has behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child.
  • Where someone has possibly committed a criminal offence against a child.
  • Where someone has behaved in a way towards a child or children that would pose a risk to children.

 

In the event of an allegation being made against a member of the school staff (or a volunteer

helper), it will always be referred to and investigated by the Principal unless a criminal act has been committed, in which case the matter should be referred to the local authorities where appropriate. If the Principal deems the allegation to be of a safeguarding nature (criminal or not) the Head of Safeguarding for APHS must be informed as soon as possible and certainly within 24 hours.

HR must also be informed by contacting the regional HR Director and the Group HR Director as soon as possible. In the case of the allegation being against the Principal,

the Regional HR Director and the Regional Managing Director, as well as the Head of Safeguarding and Group HR Director should be informed.

For serious allegations, the matter must always be reported as soon as possible to the Director of Education, the Group HR Director and the Chief Executive Officer, and the regional emergency plan should be deployed.

No action to investigate the concern should be taken before consultation with the Head of Safeguarding and HR, and Group Legal to verify if Legal Privilege is to be maintained, and agreement reached about how best to approach and investigate the concern. If it is felt, after these initial consultations, that further enquiries are needed, then the member of staff may be suspended.

Suspension is a neutral act, and in no way implies that the person is guilty of any wrongdoing. It is acknowledged that this would be distressing for the person concerned, and the school will do all it can to balance the interests of any individual with that of the need to keep children safe.

 

The school will seek advice from the Regional HR Director/Head of Safeguarding before acting and will comply with national and locally agreed guidance on these matters.

Each school is expected to have researched and mapped the local arrangements and guidance for dealing with allegations, and these should be reviewed at this stage.

Staff will reduce the possibility of an allegation being made by ensuring that they are aware of the expectations within the Aryob Private High School code of conduct for staff and volunteers and the Aryob Private High School guidance for safe working practice.

 

Whistleblowing

Aryob Private High School and our schools recognize that we cannot expect children to raise concerns in an environment where adults fail to do so. All staff and volunteers should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the actions or attitude of colleagues. 

Appropriate concerns raised for the right reasons are considered to be a protected disclosure and, even if proven to be unfounded, no action will be taken against the whistle-blower.

Malicious whistleblowing however, will be seen as a potential disciplinary matter. (see Aryob Privat High School whistleblowing policy).

 

Anti-Bullying

Bullying is a safeguarding matter and if left unresolved can become a more serious child

protection issue. Staff at every level will take seriously any concerns raised in relation to the

bullying of any student. Action will always be taken to investigate the concerns and to prevent repeat incidents or behaviors. Bullying may involve either face-to-face or the misuse of social

media or technology. Each school should have its own policy and approach to restorative

practices and all our schools will demonstrate a commitment to help resolve specific issues.

Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities

All staff should recognize that children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities can mean additional safeguarding challenges. 

Depending on the nature of a child’s special need or disability, additional barriers can exist which make it more difficult to identify and recognize signs of abuse. For example, it is easy to assume that a child’s mood, behavior or any injury relates to their disability rather than the fact they may be suffering abuse. It should also be recognized that children with disabilities may be disproportionately impacted on by behaviors such as bullying but they may not show any outward signs. 

Communication difficulties, in particular, can make it very difficult for a child to indicate what’s happening and, therefore, may make it very difficult to overcome any such barrier. Staff should be extra vigilant and report any and all concerns, avoiding making assumptions about the causes of any injury or behavior.

Allegations made by a child about another child (Peer on peer abuse)

ASS and all our schools recognize that children are capable of abusing their peers. Where an allegation is made that one child may have abused another, this will always be taken seriously and dealt with as a safeguarding matter. 

Peer on peer abuse can take many forms, and gender issues can be prevalent when dealing with this type of abuse. Examples can include girls being touched/assaulted inappropriately by boys, or boys themselves being subject to initiation violence. This type of peer on peer behavior will not be tolerated. Under no circumstances should an allegation that one child has possibly abused another be treated “as just children being children” or “experimentation”.

If the alleged actions are unwanted or involve minors who may not be able to give consent by virtue of their age or any disability, then this is potentially abusive and the school procedures should be followed in the same way as for any other safeguarding or child protection matter.

 

Safeguarding students who are vulnerable to extremism

Aryob Private High Schools value freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs/ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. 

Both students and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or leads to violence and harm of others, goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion. Any freedom of speech which promotes violence against anyone or anything else will not be tolerated.

 

Physical Intervention/restraint

There may be times when adults in schools, in the course of their school duties, have to intervene physically in order to restrain students and prevent them from coming to harm. Such intervention should always be both reasonable and proportionate to the circumstances and be the minimum necessary to resolve the situation. 

The Principal/Head teacher should require any adult involved in any such incident to report the matter to him/her as soon as possible. The staff member is required to document the incident in full giving a description and full account of the incident. Witnesses to the incident should be identified where possible.

Where intervention has been required a senior member of staff should be asked to debrief the

student and allow them to describe the incident from their point of view. Written notes of this

conversation should be kept and the student checked for any injuries.

Parents/carers should always be informed when an intervention has been necessary.

 

Domestic Abuse

The accepted definition of domestic violence and abuse is:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behavior, violence or

abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: 

  • Psychological; 
  • Physical; 
  • Sexual;
  • Financial;

and emotional Exposure to domestic abuse and/or violence can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. 

In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result. Domestic abuse affecting young people can also occur within their personal relationships, as well as in the context of their home life.

 

Safe Recruitment and Selection

Aryob School System and all our schools will do all they can to ensure that all those working with children in our schools and across the whole organization are suitable people. In order to do this, all staff who will work in an unsupervised capacity with children or young people will be recruited using safe recruitment procedures.

Safe Recruitment involves scrutinizing applicants through the interview process and application forms, verifying identity, qualifications and obtaining appropriate references, undertaking criminal background checks from all countries where the applicant has lived or worked in the last 10 years, as well as some additional recruitment checks.

 

Section 6.

6.1 Procedures to be followed by any staff member or volunteer who is

concerned about any student If staff suspect that any student in their care may be a victim of abuse, or is at risk of abuse or other form of harm, they should not try to investigate, and inform the Designated Safeguarding

Lead (DSL) about their concerns as soon as possible.

Staff must disclose any concerns they have about the possibility of a student being abused or placing themselves at risk. It is better to share these concerns, which may later prove to be unfounded, than to hold onto information that may have helped protect a student from actual harm. 

In many cases a student will not make a direct disclosure, but staff will be concerned

because of a physical or emotional indicator. In these circumstances staff should still use the record of concern form at appendix 1 and the body map at appendix 2 (if appropriate), to make a report to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Where any student makes any form of direct disclosure, the guidelines under the heading ‘Dealing with Disclosure’ below should be followed.

 

6.2 Dealing with Disclosure, Reporting and Further Action

General Principles:

Note: Be aware that if a child asks to speak to someone in confidence about a problem, no one should ever promise confidentiality if what the child discloses or is likely to disclose relates to abuse being suffered by them or another child. Staff should always give this as a health warning before meeting with the child.

The following guidance is based on five key practices for all staff:

Receive

Where possible always stop and listen to a child who wishes to speak in confidence. We know that children will often find the most inconvenient time to do this, but it is important that you make time for the child, even if this is to say “I can’t stop now but come and see me in my office at….”. Where possible during any disclosure try to listen, allow silences and try not to show shock or disbelief

 

Reassure

Try to stay calm, make no judgments and empathize with the child. Never make a promise you can’t keep. Give as much reassurance as you can and tell the child what your actions are going to be. Reassure the child that they are doing the right thing by telling you.

 

React

React to what the child is saying only in as far as you need to for further information. Don’t ask leading questions. Keep questions open such as… “is there anything else you need to tell me?”. Try not to criticize the alleged perpetrator as this may be a family member for whom the child may still have feelings.

 

Record

Make brief notes about what the child says during the conversation, but if this is not possible, make notes as soon after as you can and certainly within 24 hours. Make sure to record exactly what the child says and not your interpretation of what is said. Record the time, date and place as well.

 

Report

Where a child makes any disclosure, or where you have concerns for any reason, it is very important that the procedures outlined in this policy are followed. A full written/typed account of the concern should be passed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible and should include, where relevant, a completed body map.

 

Where a child has made a disclosure and alleges abuse, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Principal/Head Teacher in the absence of the DSL), should be informed as soon as possible. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will collate any available evidence by ensuring the notes taken from any witnesses are made available to any investigating body. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will then consider and where necessary, consult on the information available. It is the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to make decisions about what action to take next and to make the decision whether to take the matter further within the local legal framework.  It is important that a full record of all the information and decisions made are recorded and stored confidentially.

 

As an International Schools organization, Aryob recognizes the diverse and complex local contexts our schools operate in. Therefore, the following principles are taken into account when following the framework and procedure for disclosure, reporting and further action:

As International Schools we:

  • often reside in cities and countries that offer little external support.
  • recognize the limitations in the areas of child protection.
  • need to assess the quality and skills of counsellors and other support staff in dealing
  • with children who have suffered harm or self-harm, in order to determine the
  • boundaries of their work.
  • need to act in accordance with local legislation as well as the principles and practices
  • outlined in this policy.

 

Local Safeguarding Agencies/Advice

The local legal requirements: Each school MUST insert local arrangements and contact details for local agencies and bodies who can both advise or accept referrals in this section. Alternatively, schools are free to produce a separate document that outlines which, if any, agencies are contactable or available for the school to seek advice from or make referrals to. Names and contact details of the DSL should also be included.

 

Section 7.

7.1 Record Keeping and Confidentiality

Record Keeping

All records of child protection concerns, disclosures or allegations should be treated as sensitive

information and should be kept together securely and separately from the child’s general school records. The information should be shared with all those who need to have it, whether to enable them to take appropriate steps to safeguard the child, or to enable them to carry out their own duties, but it should not be shared more widely than that.

  • Child protection records should be stored in a secure (i.e. locked) filing cabinet or in a secure electronic system, accessible through the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or their deputy) and other senior staff in larger schools to ensure reasonable access.
  • Records of any child disclosure should be clearly dated and filed without future amendment.
  • Child protection records should be separate to the general education file, but the child’s general school record file should be marked to indicate that a child protection file exists (e.g. red star or similar).  All staff who may need to consult a child’s school file should be made aware of what the symbol means and who to consult if they see this symbol.
  • A child protection file (Electronic or otherwise) should be started for an individual child as soon as the school is aware of any child protection concerns about that child. This may arise in a number of ways e.g.
    • If a member of staff raises a concern about the welfare or well-being of a child – this should be recorded in writing (see below for guidance).
    • If information is forwarded to the school by a previous school attended by the child.
    • If the school is alerted by another agency of child protection concerns about that child.
  • Members of staff should make a written/typed account of any concern they have
  • regarding the welfare or well-being of a child, using the school’s pro forma.

This record should be passed as soon as possible to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Concerns, which initially seem trivial, may turn out to be vital pieces of information later. So, it is important to give as much detail as possible.

A concern raised may not progress further than a conversation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, but could also potentially lead to matters being dealt with through a legal system. If there hasn’t been a specific incident that causes concern, try to be specific about what it is that is making you feel worried.

  • If any information is removed from a file (electronic or otherwise) for any reason, a dated note should be placed in the file indicating who has taken it, why and when.
  • The record pro forma should include (see appendix 1):
    • A record of the child’s details: name, date of birth, address and family details.
    • Date and time of the event/concern.
    • The nature of the concern raised.
    • The action taken and by whom: Name and position of the person making the record

 

In the case of disclosure, remember the record you make should include:

  • As full an account as possible of what the child said (in their own words).
  • An account of the questions put to the child.
  • Time and place of disclosure.
  • Who was present at the time of the disclosure.
  • The demeanor of the child, where the child was taken and where returned to at the end of the disclosure.

 

Confidentiality

Our schools should regard all information relating to individual Safeguarding/child protection issues as confidential, and should treat it accordingly. Information should be passed on to appropriate persons only at the discretion of the Principal/Head teacher/Designated Safeguarding Lead and this should always be based on the need to know. 

All records relating to child protection should be secured appropriately. Such information can be stored electronically but contemporaneous notes should be scanned and kept in original format.